Flying High Shut Down !


WOW, can we keep a track open in Florida?

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/jul/23/pa-owner-protests-track-closure/

Click link above for pictures and full story…

Published: July 23, 2008

DADE CITY – Dirt-bike track owner Bob Wood led a protest Tuesday to focus attention on what he says is unfair treatment by county commissioners, who shut down his 8-acre dirt track two weeks ago.

The shutdown was the latest in a string of run-ins between Wood and county officials in the 17 months since commissioners cleared Wood to operate a motocross track on his property.

Last year, Wood was fined for starting development on the park without county permits. He was also cited for using the track in violation of limits set by his deal with the county.

Wood’s Flying High MX Park lies on 40 acres on the east side of Auton Road, between Enterprise Road and the county’s Withlacoochee River Park.

Despite the far-flung rural nature of the area, Wood has run afoul of the county repeatedly for conflicts between events at his park and events at the county’s park. Wood’s neighbors have also called the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office repeatedly to complain about noise, trash and vulgar language coming from the property.

Campers at the Withlacoochee River Park have complained to park officials about the sound of dirt bikes on Wood’s property disturbing their peace and quiet.

Wood has denied doing anything wrong. He said Tuesday he’s operating within the confines of his deal with the county that limits racing on the site to daytime hours.

“We followed the rules,” Wood said after his Dade City protest. “We’ve already asked them if they’d give us a rehearing.”

County commissioners were meeting in New Port Richey at the time and didn’t see the protest, which drew about 45 people.

Wood said there was some confusion about where commissioners would be meeting, but added that the historic Pasco County Courthouse grounds was more convenient for him and his supporters. He pledged to hold another protest when commissioners next meet in Dade City.

Wood’s four sons and grandson all ride motocross bikes. The park operates as a private club. Riders pay $5 to get in and an additional $20 to race. On weekends, he hosts events that can bring as many as 150 riders to the property.

Those events and all other uses of the property have stopped after county commissioners’ July 8 decision.

“They told me if I go on my own property or let my kids ride, they’ll arrest me,” Wood said.

Wood said he has limited his own activities to avoid conflicts with events at the nearby park – when he has known about them. He cited three events, including a Mother’s Day American Indian powwow at the county park, when he said he unknowingly conflicted with the county.

County officials say it’s up to Wood to notify the county when he plans events to avoid conflicts.

Wood said he’s being treated unfairly.

“The county allows the exact same thing we’re doing at the fairgrounds,” he said.

Reporter Kevin Wiatrowski can be reached at (813) 948-4201 or kwiatrowski@tampatrib.com.

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